Prepaid Funerals: the benefits of planning ahead
Planning ahead always makes good sense and that’s especially true with funerals. Your funeral plan enables you to record your wishes about the nature of your service. This can be of great assistance to surviving family and friends and can help ensure that your funeral reflects your personality.
“ This is a time when people seek peace of mind that what they want to happen will happen. ” — Julie Spriggs
Why planning ahead makes good sense
- Fix the cost of a funeral forever. The services you pay for today will not attract extra costs when the funeral is needed.
- You record exactly how to be remembered at the service in your own unique way.
- Decisions are made and your wishes are recorded without the emotions that often accompany the occurrence of a death.
- A Funeral bond can help preserve your pension entitlements.
- We are here to help guide and support you.
Financial good sense
With a Kings Prepaid Funeral, you purchase at today’s prices. Then, no matter how prices may have increased over time, Kings will provide the funeral for the price that you originally paid. The amount that can be invested in a funeral bond is $13,500 as at 1 July 2020. There is no limit to the amount that can be invested in a fixed-price funeral contract.
A Funeral bond can help preserve your pension entitlements
The pensions rate reduces by $3.00 per fortnight for every $1,000 of assets you own over the allowed limit. As a result, $10,000 in extra assets reduces your pension by $30 per fortnight. A funeral bond or pre-paid funeral is one way to reduce your current assets and help protect your Centrelink pension entitlements.
Memories Matter – Record your personal wishes
Completing this booklet gives you, and your family peace of mind in knowing that the funeral will be carried out to your wishes. There is no obligation to pre-pay, however, if you’d like us to help guide your choices, we are available to talk through it with you.
Download; Once you have completed this booklet return it to 130 Bellarine Highway, Newcomb, VIC 3219.
We will record your wishes and return the booklet to you to keep in a secure place with your other valuable documents. Alternatively, email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Complete Online; Complete our online form and a copy will be emailed to you and to us to keep securely.
Prepaid Funerals – Frequently Asked Questions
What is a funeral bond?
A Funeral Bond is a safe and secure investment, specifically designed to contribute towards future funeral expenses. It differs from any other Bond; in that, it is not redeemable until the funeral is required.
If you choose to put money towards a future funeral, the funds must (by law) go into a Funeral Bond. Funds can be invested in either individual or joint names.
There are two choices of Bonds;
- A Bond with a pre-paid contract from a funeral director
If you choose to invest into the Bond with a Prepaid contract, then the prices are locked in until the funeral is required, any time in the future. The contract specifies exactly which products and services are included.
- A Bond with no contract
If you choose to just have a straight Bond then the prices are not locked in at all. The risk of the investment not growing with inflation is accepted by the client. The money can then be used to pay for any costs associated with the funeral
The money invested into either Funeral Bond may help in maximising pension entitlements.
Is my money safe?
In Victoria, prepaid legislation requires that all funds must be invested with a friendly society. After the initial investment, Kings Funerals cannot access the funds until the funeral has taken place. The Funeral Bonds that Kings Funerals choose to use are capital guaranteed.
How long does a prepaid funeral lock in prices for?
If you choose to invest into the Bond with a Prepaid contract, then the Service Guarantee Fee (included in your quote/contract) ensures the prices are locked in until the funeral is required, any time in the future.
What happens to my money if I pre-pay and Kings Funerals no longer exist at the time of my funeral?
All prepaid funds must be placed in a Funeral Bond, by law, which protects your investment. Should your funeral director cease trading, your Bond investment, and contract, if applicable, will be re-assigned to another funeral director at no expense to the client.
How much has the cost of funerals increased over time?
Costs associated with funerals generally increase proportionately at the discretion of the Funeral Director or third parties/suppliers in order to account for rising costs in goods and services.
In addition, every now and then, there can also be a marked increase. For example, in 2015 the burial cost through the Geelong Cemeteries Trust rose by approximately 20% in just a 12-month period.
Can my family change my pre-planned decisions at the time of my funeral?
Yes, your family may ask for changes but it is up to the Executor to ultimately make decisions about your funeral. More often though, the family appreciates that they don’t have to make these decisions and will instead honour the wishes you have recorded.
In our experience, if changes do get made, they are usually ‘upgrades’ as the family wishes to include additional options such as webcasting or printed materials that the deceased person may not have included in the contract.
Can the contract be varied?
The contract can be upgraded at any time and the increased costs can be paid by the client if they are varying their original choices, or are charged to the estate if at the time of the funeral.
What amount is not assessable by Centrelink as an asset?
If you are placing funds into a straight bond then the limit of $13,500 (as of 1/7/2020) is not accessed as an investment by Centrelink.
Should you choose to have a Bond with a prepaid contract – then there is no maximum.
What will happen to my pre-paid funeral arrangements if I die in another location?
If you die elsewhere and you still wish for the funeral to occur in your Funeral Director’s area, then arrangements will be made to transport you back to the local area. This extra cost for the transfer is born by the estate.
However, if you relocate to another area and want the funeral to be held in your new location, then the funeral Bond can be re-assigned to a more local Funeral Director in your new area.
Do I have to pay for a prepaid funeral up-front or can I pay in installments?
You can pay in installments; however, the prices are not locked in until you reach your ‘target’ amount and a contract can be prepared and signed. The minimum installment amount is as little as $25 per month, but keep in mind the lower the amount the longer it will take to reach the target amount.
The deductions can be paused and restarted at any time, without penalty.
Can I pre-arrange without financial commitment?
Yes, you can pre-arrange a funeral with no financial outlay. Your wishes are recorded and can be accessed by the family when the time comes.